Kevin-Prince Boateng doesn’t seem the kind of guy who’s ever doubted his own ability, and with some good reason.
Yet even he’ll have been surprised by the January move from Sassuolo to Barcelona. Signed technically on loan and as a back-up player following some exits, Boateng has already made his debut.
It wasn’t the best of starts, getting 63 minutes in a 2-0 defeat to Sevilla, but there’s surely more to come and the 31 year old will be giving all he can to make a success of the move.
That wasn’t always the way, and Boateng has been speaking to La Vanguardia about some of the mistakes he made earlier in his career.
Signing for Tottenham in 2007 from Hertha Berlin, he thought he had it made. The money was rolling in but the football was slipping away.
At one point during his Spurs career, he weighed 95 kilos and admits it was all his own fault: “Now I weigh 83 kilos. That was down to parties. At Tottenham I didn’t play and I was always with the fans in the stands. In London I was 20 years old. And you go partying, you’re with friends and you eat badly.
“Now I have my cook and I am aware that eating well and being healthy lengthens the career. When you’re young you think that every month the money is going to be there. If you don’t play you don’t care because you have money and “friends” tell you that you are a phenomenon.”
Asked why he said “friends”, the Barca signing explained: “There are many people who immediately approach you but when you have a bad moment, miss a goal or do not play for two months, where are those who claimed to be your friends?”
Since Tottenham, Boateng has played for Borussia Dortmund (on loan from Spurs), Portsmouth, AC Milan, Schalke, AC Milan (again), Las Palmas, Eintracht Frankfurt, Sassuolo… and now Barcelona.